10 years after AIDS complications took Paul Wegman, Central Florida reflects on his loss, his influence and the invincibility of his character

By : Scottie Campbell
Comments: 5

The knowledge that we will one day die is what truly separates us from the animals and we are never more keenly aware of that fact than when we realize the mortality of our heroes. During the filming of the posthumous documentary Paul Wegman: A Tribute, I was asked to describe Paul in one word and I replied: “invincible.” In the months leading up to his death 10 years ago, I retreated to the uncomfortable land of denial, clumsily clinging to that one-word perception.

The Teacher
I was 24 when I actually met Paul Wegman, though I had seen him onstage. Making magic as Prospero on the shore of Lake Eola, one unseasonably cold April, in the inaugural season of Orlando Shakespeare Festival (now Orlando Shakespeare Theater). I also saw his lauded return to the title role in The Elephant Man at Seminole Community College (now Seminole State College), having been urged by theatre friends not to miss it. He was one of the few actors I’ve known to make you believe the word splurge of playwright Len Jenkins, which I saw him tackle in Dark Ride performed in the 1990’s nightclub Big Bang in Downtown Orlando.

Continue Reading >>